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Tags james randi , Linda Rossi , psychics , sylvia browne

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Old 2nd February 2007, 05:52 PM   #1
Hawkeye
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Whoa, am I psychic?

Yes, I’m a totally psychic.

Ok, this is pretty funny.

Here is a link to a post I made on Jan 30, 2007:
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...77#post2301177
It was about Randi’s latest appearance on Anderson Cooper 360, where he trounced Sylvia Browne’s manager Linda Rossi.


On this weeks Swift (Feb 2, 2007), here what Randi had to say about the same appearance:
http://www.randi.org/jr/2007-02/020207geller.html#i3

Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
One problem with appearances like these is that there is never enough time to properly discuss the challenge. It was not stressed enough that Sylvia, if she is a truly a legitimate psychic, could easily earn one million dollars in less than a days work. Sure, Sylvia “doesn’t have to prove anything to Randi,” but I can’t think of a better way to shut him up than to take his money. One minute just isn’t enough time to debunk all the lies about the challenge, or to explain how a mutually agreed upon double blind test is a fair way to measure ability, or to tell the story of how Browne already agreed to take the test 6 years ago.
Originally Posted by Randi
The problem with appearances like these is that there is never enough time to properly discuss the JREF challenge; couple that with the fact that Sylvia's website was listed several times, while that of the JREF never appeared. The plain fact is that Sylvia, if she is a truly legitimate psychic, could easily earn our one million dollar prize in less than a day’s work. True, “Sylvia doesn’t have to prove anything to Randi,” as Ms. Rossi pointed out, but there’s no better way to shut me up than to take the JREF money. There’s not enough time to debunk all the lies and misapprehensions about the challenge, nor to explain how a mutually-agreed-upon double-blind test is a fair way to measure claims, nor to tell the story of how Browne already agreed to take the test, six years ago.
Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
I thought it was deliciously ironic that Linda said Randi should go after the “real charlatans out there” and leave Sylvia alone. Hmmm, that sounds an awful lot like what Rosemary Altea said. Apparently every psychic out there is a fraud except for the one you happen to be talking to at the moment.
Originally Posted by Randi
Ms. Rossi said that I should “go after the real charlatans out there” and leave Sylvia alone. Friends, that sounds very much like what Rosemary Altea said, on the Larry King Live show just a few days before. It seems that every psychic whose claims I question is a fraud, except for the one I'm talking to or about at the moment!

Notice any similarities?
It's Amazing!
Is this simply a case of how great minds think alike? (Oh how I flatter myself.)
Perhaps I listen to Randi so much that I’m beginning to turn into him. (Better start working on that beard.)
Or maybe it’s just an eerie, improbable coincidence. (I assure you, it’s not some sort of trick where I got the Swift early.)

I bet some of you out there are still skeptical about this "paranormal" event. Prepare to have your mind blown away:

I submit to you, that Randi and I share the same birthday of August the 7th!
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Old 2nd February 2007, 06:22 PM   #2
Rodney
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Yes, I’m a totally psychic.

Ok, this is pretty funny.

Here is a link to a post I made on Jan 30, 2007:
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...77#post2301177
It was about Randi’s latest appearance on Anderson Cooper 360, where he trounced Sylvia Browne’s manager Linda Rossi.


On this weeks Swift (Feb 2, 2007), here what Randi had to say about the same appearance:
http://www.randi.org/jr/2007-02/020207geller.html#i3

Notice any similarities?
It's Amazing!
Is this simply a case of how great minds think alike? (Oh how I flatter myself.)
Perhaps I listen to Randi so much that I’m beginning to turn into him. (Better start working on that beard.)
Or maybe it’s just an eerie, improbable coincidence. (I assure you, it’s not some sort of trick where I got the Swift early.)

I bet some of you out there are still skeptical about this "paranormal" event. Prepare to have your mind blown away:

I submit to you, that Randi and I share the same birthday of August the 7th!
Gee, if I were a skeptic, I might argue that Randi plagiarized your post. But that can't possibly be true . . . can it?
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Old 2nd February 2007, 06:37 PM   #3
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Hawkeye is really just Randi's sock puppet.

(Though, that doesn't explain why my roomate looked nothing like Randi...)
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Old 2nd February 2007, 07:11 PM   #4
tkingdoll
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Now, if this was Sylvia Browne or any other woo, the forum would be whooping with joy at the great unmasking of a plagiarist and baying for blood and possible tax receipts as well.

This is going to be very interesting, I assume you've emailed Randi or Jeff for comment? I'd like to see what is said
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Old 2nd February 2007, 07:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
Now, if this was Sylvia Browne or any other woo, the forum would be whooping with joy at the great unmasking of a plagiarist and baying for blood and possible tax receipts as well.

This is going to be very interesting, I assume you've emailed Randi or Jeff for comment? I'd like to see what is said
I doubt plagiarism, so that leaves us a few alternate possibilities (and the first option will get a plurality, I'm certain).

A) Coincidence
B) T'ai Chi is right and we're all just reciting knee-jerk reactions like a bunch of parrots.
C) T'ai Chi is wrong, but there are only "x" ways to pick apart the show/confrtontation if you do it line by line, and Randi and Hawkeye have developed similar methods of debating.
D) Please don't make me get out the asbestos monitor cover. I'd personally actually vote for Randi perhaps having read the thread and subliminally remembered it when he was writing. It's not identical enough to be tagged plagiarism, but similar enough that it does seem that he may have read the stuff previously. I can remember doing something similar at various times in personal and even business writings, and being rather embarassed later to have to admit, if only to myself, that my clever turn of phrase was actually inspired (nice word for borrowed) by someone else.
E) (to include ALL possibilities) Did it on purpose.
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Last edited by Foolmewunz; 2nd February 2007 at 07:53 PM. Reason: 'cuz Teek's post made me realize I should add "E"
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Old 2nd February 2007, 07:37 PM   #6
tkingdoll
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I doubt plagiarism, so that leaves us a few alternate possibilities (and the first option will get a plurality, I'm certain).

A) Coincidence
B) T'ai Chi is right and we're all just reciting knee-jerk reactions like a bunch of parrots.
C) T'ai Chi is wrong, but there are only "x" ways to pick apart the show/confrtontation if you do it line by line, and Randi and Hawkeye have developed similar methods of debating.
D) Please don't make me get out the asbestos monitor cover. I'd personally actually vote for Randi perhaps having read the thread and subliminally remembered it when he was writing. It's not identical enough to be tagged plagiarism, but similar enough that it does seem that he may have read the stuff previously. I can remember doing something similar at various times in personal and even business writings, and being rather embarassed later to have to admit, if only to myself, that my clever turn of phrase was actually inspired (nice word for borrowed) by someone else.
As a writer and copy editor, I would not accept coincidence as an excuse for that level of similarity, not just in wording but in the structure of the paragraphs. But I agree it's not enough content to be 'plagiarism' in a 'let's sue!' sense.

D is possible, but so is "did it on purpose", which is what was claimed of Sylvia when a similar situation occurred with her book (albeit on a larger scale).

While I absolutely support Randi and hope this is just an accident, it wouldn't be fair to treat this with any less skepticism than we would if it were a woo writer instead. But, I fully expect there is a good explanation, so await a comment from JREF.

Last edited by tkingdoll; 2nd February 2007 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 2nd February 2007, 07:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
As a writer and copy editor, I would not accept coincidence as an excuse for that level of similarity, not just in wording but in the structure of the paragraphs. But I agree it's not enough content to be 'plagiarism' in a 'let's sue!' sense.

D is possible, but so is "did it on purpose", which is what was claimed of Sylvia when a similar situation occurred with her book (albeit on a larger scale).

While I absolutely support Randi and hope this is just an accident, it wouldn't be fair to treat this with any less skepticism than we would if it were a woo writer instead. But, I fully expect there is a good explanation, so await a comment from JREF.
Yeah, I left out E, "Did it on purpose", but I'd opened that I was listing other possibilities.

Ditto on the "let's see what the reply is" sentiment. I still vote for D. And no, it won't cause me to adjust my esteem or support for Randi, in the slightest.
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Old 2nd February 2007, 10:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
Gee, if I were a skeptic, I might argue that Randi plagiarized your post. But that can't possibly be true . . . can it?
Technically speaking, it’s certainly a possibility. I thought about it myself, but I decided to not even post it as an option. I wouldn’t dare jump to that conclusion or start making any accusations. I’m just a punk kid; Randi doesn’t need to copy me. If anything, I’m flattered that my writing style could be so similar to his.

Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
This is going to be very interesting, I assume you've emailed Randi or Jeff for comment? I'd like to see what is said
I did email Randi, and I will let you all know what he says.
Maybe I’ll even get on next week’s Swift. That would seriously be awesome.

Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
C) T'ai Chi is wrong, but there are only "x" ways to pick apart the show/confrontation if you do it line by line, and Randi and Hawkeye have developed similar methods of debating.
This is what I think probably happened. How awesome is that though, to have the same thought process as my biggest hero!

Quote:
D)I'd personally actually vote for Randi perhaps having read the thread and subliminally remembered it when he was writing. It's not identical enough to be tagged plagiarism, but similar enough that it does seem that he may have read the stuff previously.
Interesting idea, but I was under the impression that Randi doesn’t spend much time browsing the forums.
I imagine he has much more important things to do!
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Old 3rd February 2007, 01:04 PM   #9
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Randi responds!

Quote:
Chris: I admit, I shamelessly took your comments and dropped them in as
part of SWIFT, simply because they exactly reflected my observations. I
could have changed the wording, but getting SWIFT together each week - amid
all the other duties that keep me here at least 60 hours a week - calls for
some corner-cutting every now and then. Mea culpa...

It's 9:08 on Saturday morning, I've been here since 7:30 or so, and I'll be
here until late today... This is what I do, I do it for as many hours as I
can, and I love it, but I err occasionally as I did by stealing your
comments so blatantly.

(If you want to use this on the Forum, or anywhere else, you're of course
free to do so. We have few secrets here, except for a couple of jazzy
card-tricks...!)

James Randi.
Well there you have it, a perfectly reasonable explanation for the similarities.
Darn, I was hoping it was ESP.
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Old 3rd February 2007, 01:21 PM   #10
tkingdoll
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Randi responds!


Well there you have it, a perfectly reasonable explanation for the similarities.
Darn, I was hoping it was ESP.
The perfectly reasonable explanation is plagiarism, then.

This is odd:
Quote:
I could have changed the wording
.

But he did change the wording.

Well, if you're happy about it, then the rest of us have no right to gripe, but I won't be reading the commentary with much confidence again. If Sylvia had responded to the allegations of plagiarism against her with "my busy schedule calls for some corner-cutting on occasion" I expect it would have been met with hoots of laughter.

As I say, it's your issue, not mine, but I am sad to note the lack of the word "sorry" in the response.
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Old 3rd February 2007, 01:25 PM   #11
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Old 3rd February 2007, 01:32 PM   #12
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You should feel honored! ...and demand royalties!
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Old 3rd February 2007, 01:38 PM   #13
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He had another option, he could have just quoted you.

Maybe next time he is short on time, or just sees a very well written post, he'll do that.

Anyway, he can fix it. He can give you credit in next week's commentary -- not for your sake, but for his. Major newspapers make revisions, retractions, correct oversights, etc. all the time.

We all make mistakes -- that isn't really one of the things that defines us; it's what we do after we figured out we made a mistake. I've learned in this forum that many people respect Randi, so that's reason to believe he may still do the honorable thing, in this situation.

ETA: and give you
Originally Posted by Wowbagger
royalties!

Last edited by Kaylee; 3rd February 2007 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 3rd February 2007, 01:58 PM   #14
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I had guessed that is what had happened (maybe I'm psychic), but I find it flattering that he reads your posts. Hawkeye, you are influencing those who influence a great many others! Presumably, you said exactly what he would like to say and in a well-worded way (but it would have been a bonus if he'd added, as forum member Hawkeye point's out...) Hopefully enough of the key phrases stick so he can rush them in before interruptions, edits, and announcements that time is up next time he's on CNN or some other widely viewed show. For short attention spans, it's important to get your most salient facts out quickly.

I hope some choice words stick in the minds of some who just drop by for a quick read...
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Old 3rd February 2007, 11:06 PM   #15
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Although plagiarism may have too strong of a connotation, I have to agree with Teek. (Yes, I have to - it's a compulsion, but not because of the boobs as I'm a leg man, myself... it's because she's generally a huge forum and Randi supporter, but calls 'em as she sees 'em, and is a class act, to boot!)

This is a little disappointing. The words were changed, if only slightly, and the act of performing a cut-n-drop job should remind any of us that we're using someone else's material, albeit that material is on an open forum, owned by the guy doing the snipping. Especially if you change a couple of words or phrases here and there to make it more like your own writing.

A credit of some sort was due, even if just a mention as he had in this week's SWIFT, about having some smart readers.... i.e. "One of the members of the JREF Forum posted something that I think sums this up....". (It would've been a good plug for the forums, too!)

I'm glad he admitted it quickly, but a clarification in the next SWIFT would be appropriate, IMHO.
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Old 4th February 2007, 01:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Well there you have it, a perfectly reasonable explanation for the similarities.
Darn, I was hoping it was ESP.
Oh dear. : (

I hope he apologizes also. And I'm totally mystified. He's never had problems quoting people from email before; couldn't he just cite Hawkeye in his quote? It really bugs me that he deliberately changed some of the wording.
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Old 4th February 2007, 01:58 AM   #17
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I thought I recognized the part about other psychics being frauds, but didn't give it much thought. Strange I didn't pick up on the rest .
I don't agree with those who say it's not plagiarism. True, Randi has added more detail and rephrased some of it, but it's evident that it's the same text. I really don't think this is any different than SB copying Joe Nickell link, although Randi readily admitted his copying. IMO Randi should give Hawkeye credit in the next Swift.
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Old 4th February 2007, 02:53 AM   #18
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Changing someone elses words slightly is not in itself a problem. The problem is lack of acknowledgement. Paraphrasing can easily be acknowledged without implying the use of an exact quote.
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Old 4th February 2007, 03:01 AM   #19
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If the next SWIFT does not contain a mea culpa by Randi, he will have fallen several notches in my esteem. SEVERAL.
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Old 4th February 2007, 04:28 AM   #20
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I am not happy about this. Hawkeye should be acknowledged on Swift by Randi at the very least. Those words in those structures are surely Hawkeye's intellectual property?

Comparing Randi/Hawkeye to Slyvia/Nickell is not the same though. How much did Slyvia make in sales of her book containing the plagiarism, and how much did Randi make plagiarising Hawkeye?
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Old 4th February 2007, 04:40 AM   #21
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Wow... first he can't even make it to a hundred without heart surgery, and now this. He might just be human after all.

The woo crowd will point to this as proof of Randi's inherent dishonesty.
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Old 4th February 2007, 05:10 AM   #22
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Whatever the clinical or legal definitions of what occurred, it looks bad, and that reflects on Randi and his supporters. In addition, if I were the OP, I would be mildly insulted by receiving excuses instead of an apology.
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Old 4th February 2007, 10:53 AM   #23
tkingdoll
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Whatever the clinical or legal definitions of what occurred, it looks bad, and that reflects on Randi and his supporters. In addition, if I were the OP, I would be mildly insulted by receiving excuses instead of an apology.
I agree. This has been bothering me all night, I'll explain why.

Many, many people will use Randi's exceptionally good work and character as an excuse to gloss over this issue. And if the response from him had been different, I might possibly have done the same.

But, given that he used 'being busy' as an excuse and then even claimed to have not had time to change the wording, when he clearly did change the wording (in what looks for all the world like a schoolboy attempt to pass it off as his own writing), coupled with the lack of apology, it seems like a deliberate act of dishonesty occurred of precisely the same sort he called Sylvia Browne out for.

Now, you might say "oh, but she's scum and a fraud" or whatever, but wasn't the implication in Randi's expose of her that the alleged plagiarism confirms her dishonest nature? In other words, if she cheats in her writing, what else does she cheat with?

Which, for someone like Sylvia, is actually no big deal because we all think she's a liar and a fake anyway. But why shouldn't we then ask that question of Randi? And that could undermine his entire work.

I see two real problems with Randi plagiarising or otherwise cheating for any reason at all. The first is that the nature of his life's work demands that he act with 100% honesty and integrity, because that's the standard he's demanding from those he exposes. Why else would Randi pursue cheats unless he thinks cheating is bad? So why then is it OK to give the excuse "oops, you caught me in a blatant cheat, I was busy that week"?

Or are we saying that cheating is OK as long as you admit it when you get caught? I hope we're not saying that.

The second problem is that the challenge and the exposes cannot allow for the possibility of error. So it's just not OK to say "yeah, I work long hours and make mistakes" if your business is to identify and expose other people's cheating. The allegations and judgements made in Swift have an impact on people's lives and their businesses, so the greatest of care should be taken. If he can slip up here, like this, then what if he slips up when it really matters?

I don't know. I guess I'm just really, really suprised.

Last edited by tkingdoll; 4th February 2007 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 4th February 2007, 10:55 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
Gee, if I were a skeptic, .. .
But you're not. You have no idea what skepticism is.
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1. He'd never do that. 2. Okay but he's not currently doing it. 3. Okay but he's not currently technically doing it. 4. Okay but everyone does it. 5. He's doing it, we can't stop him, no point in complaining about it. 6. We all knew he was going to do it which... makes it okay somehow. 7. It's perfectly fine that's he's doing it.
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Old 4th February 2007, 10:59 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Randi responds!


Well there you have it, a perfectly reasonable explanation for the similarities.
Darn, I was hoping it was ESP.
It's a lie. He just doesn't want to give you the JREF money.
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1. He'd never do that. 2. Okay but he's not currently doing it. 3. Okay but he's not currently technically doing it. 4. Okay but everyone does it. 5. He's doing it, we can't stop him, no point in complaining about it. 6. We all knew he was going to do it which... makes it okay somehow. 7. It's perfectly fine that's he's doing it.
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Old 4th February 2007, 11:02 AM   #26
thaiboxerken
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IS it copyright infringment to cut and paste from a forum that you own?
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1. He'd never do that. 2. Okay but he's not currently doing it. 3. Okay but he's not currently technically doing it. 4. Okay but everyone does it. 5. He's doing it, we can't stop him, no point in complaining about it. 6. We all knew he was going to do it which... makes it okay somehow. 7. It's perfectly fine that's he's doing it.
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Old 4th February 2007, 12:08 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
IS it copyright infringment to cut and paste from a forum that you own?
Very likely, although I don't think anyone's invoking the law in this case as it would be a) petty and b) pointless. The poster, by using the forum, implicitly grants a license to display to the owner, but not a license to republish.
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Old 4th February 2007, 12:09 PM   #28
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Like Teek, this has been on my mind a lot. I don't think I can look at Swift any more. Certainly not with the same mind that I had. I don't know what else to say.
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Old 4th February 2007, 12:18 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
As I say, it's your issue, not mine, but I am sad to note the lack of the word "sorry" in the response.

Agreed. A disappointing episode, all around.
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Old 4th February 2007, 04:25 PM   #30
Rodney
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
But you're not. You have no idea what skepticism is.
But I do know what plagiarism is.
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Old 4th February 2007, 10:57 PM   #31
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Just checked the rules Registration Agreement


Quote:
Copyright
Any post or article published on the JREF forum by a Member is the copyright of the Member and may not be reproduced, copied or otherwise re-published without the express permission of the Member. By posting on the Forum a Member grants the JREF a non-exclusive licence to publish, republish or reproduce their work, in its entirety or as the JREF sees fit, in perpetuity. The James Randi Educational Foundation is the copyright holder of the JREF Forum.
My questions (and answers) based on this quote
1. Was the post on this forum? (Yes it was)
2. Is James Randi = JREF? (Yes. Swift is the weekly newsletter of JREF)
3. If JREF does reproduce their work as per this clause does he need to acknowledge it? (maybe)
4. Based on the answers above, did James Randi make any mistakes? (maybe.)
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Old 5th February 2007, 03:48 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
3. If JREF does reproduce their work as per this clause does he need to acknowledge it? (maybe)
Maybe he doesn't need to acknowledge it, but he should have. This is James Randi we're talking about, not some sneaky word-stealin' flim-flam artist. Tell me you wouldn't feel a bit miffed if he took a post of yours and reproduced it on Swift as his own work. And then when questioned about it the reply is basically, 'I was busy so tough luck.'

If this is the way Randi does things when he's busy, how do I know that all of the words in his books (and I bought every one) he claims to have written are his own? He was probably very busy while writing his books too.

This is hitting me much harder than I would have thought it could.
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Old 5th February 2007, 04:20 AM   #33
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Please keep to the topic. I doubt that his books contain substantial unacknowledged quotes from this forum. If he sourced material from elsewhere that could be copyright violations.

Yes I do agree that he should have mentioned the post. It is always good to see where a person is getting their material from. Adds some authority to it. However I have noticed that this does not always happen, both in Swift and elsewhere.

Randi - Do not make a habit of doing this. Can lead to trouble.
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Old 5th February 2007, 04:26 AM   #34
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Hello..

Randi has been in touch with Hawkeye and will address this in the upcoming commentary.
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Old 5th February 2007, 06:10 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Please keep to the topic.
Thank you for your condescension, but you're not the boss of me. FYI, my answer to the 'topic' of the OP is no, you are not psychic.

Happy now?
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Old 5th February 2007, 07:14 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Just checked the rules Registration Agreement

Quote:
Copyright
Any post or article published on the JREF forum by a Member is the copyright of the Member and may not be reproduced, copied or otherwise re-published without the express permission of the Member. By posting on the Forum a Member grants the JREF a non-exclusive licence to publish, republish or reproduce their work, in its entirety or as the JREF sees fit, in perpetuity. The James Randi Educational Foundation is the copyright holder of the JREF Forum.
I must admit to not having seen this (although I guess I should have - erm...) so it's possible my earlier post on forum copyright is incorrect.

However, the above quoted paragraph is contradictory so it doesn't really make things clearer.
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Old 5th February 2007, 10:19 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I must admit to not having seen this (although I guess I should have - erm...) so it's possible my earlier post on forum copyright is incorrect.

However, the above quoted paragraph is contradictory so it doesn't really make things clearer.
Not a lawyer, but I don't think it is contradictory. The poster owns the copyright, but the JREF gets an automatic license to reproduce the posts. The JREF owns the copyright to the forum itself, but only to the main structure of the forum, not to the individual posts contained within in it.
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Old 5th February 2007, 10:32 AM   #38
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Hawkeye, I just want to take a moment to say I really admire your style -- not only in the way you write, but also in how you handled a tough issue. Direct and with humor -- kudos to you!

Last edited by Kaylee; 5th February 2007 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Adjust humongous fonts down to standard size.
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Old 5th February 2007, 06:03 PM   #39
Hawkeye
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Originally Posted by Shera View Post
Hawkeye, I just want to take a moment to say I really admire your style -- not only in the way you write, but also in how you handled a tough issue. Direct and with humor -- kudos to you!
Aww, shucks

Sure, I could have used this as an opportunity to get all self-righteous and indignant, and post all over the internet about how Randi plagiarized me. It might satisfy my vain desire to be more well-known on the forum, but it would be much ado about nothing.

What bothers me most is that several of you have said things about losing respect for Randi/Swift because of this incident. While it is your own business to decide what you do and don’t have confidence in, I hope that you don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch. Randi has been putting out SWIFT every week for what, 7 years now? (Not counting all the books he’s written or the infolist/hotline going back to ‘92). Each Swift issue has, I would guesstimate, around 15 articles approximately 1,000 words long. The one about Sylvia Browne’s CNN appearance contained 2400 words, of which 200 or so were lifted from my post. So then let's do a quick back of the envelope… 7 years, 52 weeks, 15 articles, 1000 words, and only 200 plagiarized… that means, as far as we know, .0037% of the content isn’t his own. In other terms, statistically speaking, you should be skeptical about the origin of 1 out of every 27,000 words Randi writes on Swift. I understand that you have high standards for Randi considering his work, but as others have said; to err is human, even Randi makes mistakes. To this I would tack on the addendum - “very rarely.”

Look, there’s no question that he should have attributed the quote to me. Why he decided not to give any credit is an interesting question, which I’ll let him answer this Friday. However, the fact that he felt my words eloquently echoed his own feelings is such a compliment to me that I don’t even mind that he used them in the first place. Plus it gave me an opportunity to email him, which I never had a good reason too up until then . True, this doesn’t make plagiarism okay, but that’s what I think about it. Presumably he will apologize in this weeks Swift, but it isn’t necessary.

Calm down, there are bigger battles to fry and more important fish to be won.
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Old 5th February 2007, 06:28 PM   #40
tkingdoll
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Aww, shucks

Sure, I could have used this as an opportunity to get all self-righteous and indignant, and post all over the internet about how Randi plagiarized me. It might satisfy my vain desire to be more well-known on the forum, but it would be much ado about nothing.

What bothers me most is that several of you have said things about losing respect for Randi/Swift because of this incident. While it is your own business to decide what you do and don’t have confidence in, I hope that you don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch. Randi has been putting out SWIFT every week for what, 7 years now? (Not counting all the books he’s written or the infolist/hotline going back to ‘92). Each Swift issue has, I would guesstimate, around 15 articles approximately 1,000 words long. The one about Sylvia Browne’s CNN appearance contained 2400 words, of which 200 or so were lifted from my post. So then let's do a quick back of the envelope… 7 years, 52 weeks, 15 articles, 1000 words, and only 200 plagiarized… that means, as far as we know, .0037% of the content isn’t his own. In other terms, statistically speaking, you should be skeptical about the origin of 1 out of every 27,000 words Randi writes on Swift. I understand that you have high standards for Randi considering his work, but as others have said; to err is human, even Randi makes mistakes. To this I would tack on the addendum - “very rarely.”

Look, there’s no question that he should have attributed the quote to me. Why he decided not to give any credit is an interesting question, which I’ll let him answer this Friday. However, the fact that he felt my words eloquently echoed his own feelings is such a compliment to me that I don’t even mind that he used them in the first place. Plus it gave me an opportunity to email him, which I never had a good reason too up until then . True, this doesn’t make plagiarism okay, but that’s what I think about it. Presumably he will apologize in this weeks Swift, but it isn’t necessary.
I think that's a fair and nice thing to say.

Although, I beg of you, please don't use the phrase "calm down"! It's like sitting on someone and you probably don't realise it comes across as patronising, which I'm sure you don't mean to be.

I haven't changed my opinion (as a professional writer, plagiarism is my number one hate and horror), but I will not add anything further to this thread because it's your issue and you are satisfied.
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